Pubdate: Fri, 30 Oct 2009
Source: Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Copyright: 2009 The Union Leader Corp.
Author: Jason Schreiber
Bookmark: (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


EPPING - A local police officer who claims he has been targeted 
because of his involvement with a group that wants to legalize drugs 
has been suspended from the force.

Officer Bradley Jardis said he was told Monday that he was being 
suspended with pay pending an investigation.

Police Chief Gregory Dodge would not comment on the suspension, but 
Jardis said he believes it resulted from his decision to go public 
with disciplinary action taken against him in July and claims that he 
has been ridiculed by certain Epping police personnel because he's a 
member of an international organization called Law Enforcement 
Against Prohibition.

An outspoken critic of current drug laws, Jardis was the subject of 
an internal police investigation in July that resulted from a 
disagreement between him and then-police Sgt. Sean Gallagher. That 
investigation led to a recommendation that Jardis be suspended for six days.

Jardis, who was placed on sick leave in early August because of 
anxiety, is appealing the suspension ordered in July and has 
requested that his upcoming appeal before selectmen be held in 
public. That suspension was stayed pending the appeal.

According to a letter from the town's attorney, Philip Petis, the 
police chief adamantly disagrees that Jardis' involvement with LEAP 
has anything to do with the disciplinary action.

The chief has also said in the past that he has no problem with 
Jardis' participation in LEAP as long as it's done when he's off duty.

Still, Jardis claims trouble began brewing in February when he was 
featured in a story in the New Hampshire Sunday News about his 
involvement with LEAP.

Three days after the story ran, Jardis wrote a letter to Lt. Michael 
Wallace asking that he be "protected from unlawful harassment" by 
Gallagher, who was then his supervisor. He claimed that on the day 
after the article came out, Gallagher referred to him as a "dark rain 
cloud over this place." In response to the complaint, Jardis said 
Wallace removed him from Gallagher's supervision.

Gallagher declined to comment on the accusations this week.

The internal probe in July followed a dispute between Jardis and 
Gallagher over the way Jardis was investigating a case. When 
Gallagher said he was removing him from the case, Jardis threatened 
to tell the media about Gallagher's actions. Jardis said Gallagher 
ordered him not to talk to the media, which Jardis told him was an 
illegal order.

Lt. Wallace investigated the incident and issued a report on July 28. 
Wallace determined that Jardis was insubordinate and "acted 
inappropriately when Gallagher issued an illegal order and threatened 
him that he would go to the media even if he had no intentions."

Wallace concluded that Jardis violated standard operating procedures 
and policies. He also found that Jardis violated policy by sending an 
e-mail to others in the department raising questions about the way he 
was being treated. Jardis wrote the e-mail outlining his concerns in 
an effort to arrange a meeting of the police union.

Jardis was particularly concerned because he claimed that Detective 
Rich Cote, the police union president, had made allegations that he 
may have violated the department's sick time policy and then was 
present as his union representative when Jardis was questioned during 
a meeting with Lt. Wallace.

Wallace took issue when Jardis suggested in the e-mail that Cote had 
"ratted" on him about the allegations and that he "disbelieves" Wallace.

"Both comments are a course of conduct I consider to be detrimental 
to Detective Cote, the Epping Police Department and I," Wallace wrote 
in his report.

Wallace has refused to comment on the situation because it's an 
ongoing personnel matter.

The sick time investigation was dropped when Wallace learned that no 
violation had occurred. 
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